My process

See how I created this personal project through 3 key stages of development.

research

To kick off this project, I thoroughly researched each chosen city with consideration to well-known landmarks and historical significance; not just asking what, but why and how.

Equally, time was spent researching each city's international reputation and unique ambience. A great example of this is Sydney, Australia. A city known for its famous landmarks, but also boasting warm beaches and a strong coastal culture.

Although a central structure was chosen for each Illustration, a city is 'more than the sum of its parts' and this type of deep-diving into city culture and reputation lead to a specific approach to composing, illustrating and colouring each piece.

Sketch

Feeling confident on a concept I created a series of quick sketches(thumbnails), experimenting with layout, composition and hierarchy. I felt in order to give each city depth, I needed to illustrate with a distinct mid-ground, foreground and background make-up.

I then selected the most promising thumb and further detailed it into a reference sketch. Detailing the sketch helps to create a good reference image to draw from when converting into an illustration. It also means all the creative decisions are made early on in the process, saving time in the long run.

Illustration

After completing the sketch, I illustrated over the sketch in Adobe Illustrator. I started with greyscale colours so as to focus on composition first. I then layered in fill, stroke, shadows and highlights. After I applied a clear, warm colour palette to instil a sense of nostalgia and story that aligned to the creative direction of each city.

Want to learn illustration?

Learn my tools and techniques in detail through my Illustration Masterclass collaboration with Motion School Design.